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Racing Chat - Friday 27th Nov


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Some interesting NH racing takes place tomorrow at Newbury, the first day of two culminating in the Ladbrokes Trophy Gold Cup on Saturday.

Its been a predominately dry week and the ground should be perfect at good (good to soft in places) with a dry forecast.

The first race at 12.15 features the first public appearance of Nicky Henderson’s FLINTEUR SACRE, a full brother to the legend Sprinter Sacre and though it doesn’t always work out with breeding I was lucky enough to have a guided tour to Henderson’s base in Seven Barrows earlier in the year and there was plenty of high adulation for him. Barry Geraghty is quoted as saying he was the easiest bumper winner he’s ridden since Sprinter Sacre himself, high praise indeed when you consider how many NH Flat races BG would have won.

He has little to beat and anything but a facile victory will suffice. If ante-post betting is your bag (it certainly is mine!) then I would take the 16/1 generally available about him for the Supreme Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham as if he wins in the manner expected the bookmakers will be falling over themselves in cutting him for Cheltenham.

Four previous winners go to post for the novice hurdle at 1.15 with Messr’s Nicholls, Henderson & Skelton saddling nice prospects. Henderson does so well at the track but his Bothwell Bridge may just be foiled by  Paul Nicholls’ Bravemansgame though shouldn’t be much between them with Skelton’s Aintree winner Real Stone having his form boosted by a subsequent victory for third that day Danny Kirwan.

BRAVEMANSGAME 1 point win @ 7/4 bet365

Nicky Henderson (yes that man again) unleashes his Caribbean Boy in the 1.50 in a race he won last year with RSA winner Champ. He’s a lovely horse though has yet to encounter ground like this with all of his career runs (bar a well beaten debut effort) coming on soft or heavy. Colin Tizzard is finally getting his stable going and has the favourite here in Fiddlerontheroof who didn’t impress me when scraping home at Exeter last time although he’s officially rated 8lb superior to his two rivals here and would be my pick. The third runner in the line up is Paul Nicholls’ aptly named Getaway Trump who is no mug but has never convinced in finishing off his races.

FIDDLERONTHEROOF 1 point win Evs betvictor

The 2.25 is a highly competitive handicap chase with chances given to plenty. The Skelton’s Oldgrangewood won this in 2017 and 2019 but is now 12lb higher than last year’s victory. Top weight Cepage has a good record first time out and has to be on your shortlist but it’s Tom George’s CLONDAW CASTLE that I fancy. A good second in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree last time (had Oldgrangewood 5 ½ lengths behind ) he’s a free jumping 8 year old who will appreciate the livelier ground more than most.

CLONDAW CASTLE 1 point each way @ 6/1 bet365

What a cracker in store at 3.00 for the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle over 3m 52yds. Paisley Park has to put a sub standard run in last years Stayers Hurdle behind him when it transpired he had an irregular heartbeat. He worked at Newbury last week (his galloping companion Hoi Polloi was beaten on Wednesday at Hereford). I like many was mightily impressed by McFabulous and his jumping technique at Chepstow in the Persian War and although he needs to step up again (at these weights he has 11lb to find with Paisley Park). Last year’s top novice and Albert Bartlett 4th Thyme Hill has to be a player along with Aintree winner Summerville Boy.  Throw in last seasons shock Stayers Hurdle winner Lisnagar Oscar and we have one of, if not the, race of the NH season so far.

MCFABULOUS 1 point win @ 11/4 bet365

There’s a handicap blot in the finale at 3.35 in Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Hill Sixteen who bolted up in the mud last time at Ffos Las on his first run since leaving Sue Smith winning by a staggering 48 lengths. That was over fences and he reverts back to hurdles here off of a 3lb lower mark!! The only nagging doubt is that all of his form is on very soft ground and he won’t get that here though he’s so well in he may well get away with it as there’s nothing too unexposed amongst the opposition.

HILL SIXTEEN 1 point win @ 2/1 betvictor

 

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Newbury 2.25 

San Benedeto 20.5

Oldgrangewood 20.2

these two top rated and not much between them. Want to back both but will see if Oldgrangewood drifts out from 9/2 to 11/2 before I part with my money on that one. San Benedeto offers value at 15/2 and will enjoy the good ground. Also has a decent record at Newbury and is on his last winning mark which was at this course last year. 
 

San Benedeto 15/2

Newbury 3.00

Very exciting race in prospect here and Paisley Park is clear on ratings. If running anywhere near form I can’t see him getting beat regardless of how good some of the others look. Excuses can be made for the blip at Cheltenham and I expect him to be fit and ready to go here. Hoping to get better odds before I decide to back him. Can maybe see him drifting slightly so will hold on. 

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12:45 - The Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boosts Chase (Novices' Limited Handicap Chase) (For the Fulke Walwyn Trophy) 

This looks to be a competitive edition of the race with the two at the top of the market looking to maintain their 100 per cent record over fences.


Eritage made it a winning start over the bigger obstacles at Ludlow last month for Paul Nicholls, although he enjoyed some fortune to do so. Having had wind surgery during the summer, the six-year-old was well-backed ahead of his chase debut and he raced keenly through the race before looking held in second behind the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Goa Lil approaching the final fence. However, the leader fell at the last leaving Eritage to come home as a clear eight and a half length winner. Eritage was having to concede weight to the four-year-old Goa Lil, but the runner-up on the day was Dan Skelton’s Monsieur D’Arque whose record over fences now stands at one win from nine races. A winner of a Class 4 novice over hurdles, Eritage is clearly expected to make up into a better chaser given the way that he was supported for the Ludlow race, so he is open to progress at Newbury but will need to improve now taking on tougher opposition.

The other horse in the line-up who arrives having won his only chase start so far is ANEMOI, who will be bidding to enhance Harry Whittington’s fine recent record in the race. The trainer has landed the prize twice in the last five years and ANEMOI looks to hold strong claims of adding to that in the 2020 renewal. He was a useful performer over hurdles in 2018/19 as third-place finishes in a Cheltenham Listed race and Class 2 at Taunton saw him sent off at odds of only 7/1 for the Scottish Champion Hurdle. However, he ran below-par in the Grade 2 handicap at Ayr and then was not seen on the track again until Wetherby last month. Having had wind surgery, the six-year-old made a successful return to action over hurdles as he got the better of Dan Skelton’s Proschema before being sent chasing for his next start.

In what looked to be a decent novices’ handicap at Chepstow at the beginning of the month, ANEMOI showed a good attitude to narrowly get the better of Kerry Lee’s Financier, who reopposes on friday. After a slow jump at the second-last fence, ANEMOI battled back strongly to get his head in front close home which has led to there being a 1lb change in the weights between the pair ahead of the Newbury contest. However, Financier had the benefit of three previous races over fences and ANEMOI can confirm the form from Chepstow with the promise of more to come over the bigger obstacles. He can improve on his first chase start and make it a hat-trick of wins this season on friday.

All of the runners in the line-up have potential now chasing, such as Editeur Du Gite who put up an improved effort on his third start over fences on his seasonal reappearance. A winner over hurdles in France, he failed to get involved in his two races last year for Gary Moore but was interestingly pitched into the Grade 2 Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase at Kempton on the latter occasion. He did not race again until the end of last month, where he improved to finish runner-up in a novices’ handicap at Ascot. That was over two miles and three furlongs and Editeur Du Gite went from the front until being passed at the second-last by the Anthony Honeyball-trained Sully D’Oc AA. The six-year-old could be able to build on that effort back in trip at Newbury, but he has a bit to find with the front two in the market.

advice:

ANEMOI 1pt WIN @ 4/1 (General)

2:25 – The Get Your Ladbrokes £1 Free Bet Today Handicap Chase 


11 runners go to the post in what looks a very interesting chase over the 2m4f, with a lot of solid form on offer.


 

Having to give weight to all is the Venetia Williams trained Cepage, with the usual suspect of Charlie Deutsch doing the steering. He has been a very good horse for connections thus far and managed to get his head in front in a Grade 3 handicap at Cheltenham over 2m4½f back in January. He wasn’t disgraced in the Ultima Handicap at the Cheltenham Festival last time out either, when finishing seventh. He hasn’t been seen since then though, and despite having some strong form in his locker, he usually finds one or two too good and I can see the same happening again here on slightly quicker ground than he ideally likes. 


Although Sully D’Oc AA returned a winner for last time out, this race looks a lot deeper, albeit with him being towards the bottom of the handicap in this field. The wind surgery seemed to do the trick as this horse finally returned a winner over fences on his seasonal debut when scoring at Ascot, jumping well all the way round. The 10lb raise could see him struggle in a more competitive race, but he is open to improvement. Defi Sacre gets a huge amount of weight from all his rivals and could still be well-handicapped off this mark. He was a classy improver last year over fences, rattling up a hat-trick over 2m and his reappearance run showed that he could still find a mark of 129 workable. However, given that he failed to score at Aintree at the start of the month, despite being sent off as favourite, and this trip is one he’s not proven over, he could find this race a tough ask with cheekpieces on for the first time. 

Richard Johnson is back to winning ways once again this season and his partnership with Philip Hobbs is usually one to be feared even though the yard is in some very inconsistent form at the moment. Musical Slave has the second JP McManus colours on today and he showed progression over hurdles - he has now started to tell a similar story over fences too. This seven-year-old managed to break his duck over fences when winning at Exeter on New Year’s Day and followed that up with two decent efforts. However, he is now 4lb higher in the weights this time around and will more than likely want further in time, especially given that this ground isn’t as soft as he’d like ideally. 

San Benedeto is an interesting horse here as he is a very smart chaser on his day, scoring over course and distance in March 2019 to land the Greatwood Gold Cup (Grade 3) off this same mark of 147. However, the big worry with this horse is that his recent form has been poor in handicap company, including in the Summer Plate in July, but he does drop back to his last winning mark so again, that gives him a chance. He does look interesting but, judging by his last four efforts, he’d be a risky one to chance regardless. The Alan King trained Fidux deserves a mention after finishing ahead of the Nicholls horse in the Summer Plate, eventually finishing second. The seven-year-old has since gone in to score on his latest outing, albeit in weaker company, over 2m5½f, sticking on gamely. This is a much tougher task though and might be out of his depth in these deep waters.  

Clondaw Castle has some strong market support, after an excellent run in the Old Roan Chase, finishing second on his seasonal debut, finishing ahead of the favourite, OLDGRANGEWOOD. He ended last season in fine form too, picking up a victory at Warwick over today’s trip, and he clearly has potential, especially on the kind of sound surface he’ll encounter here. The eight-year-old is now 2lb higher for his recent second and OLDGRANGEWOOD has the 2lb swing in the weights in his favour here. After taking this race 12 months ago, Dan Skelton’s nine-year-old gets the nod to get back to winning ways after his good fourth last time out. He really seemed to benefit from the wind surgery last season, scoring twice in handicaps including a Grade 3 at Cheltenham. He should come on from that seasonal debut and with conditions in his favour and 4lb less weight on his back than the burden his main danger, Clondaw Castle, carries, it would be no shock to see these two battle it out to the line and the market could well have got this race spot on. 

advice:

OLDGRANGEWOOD 1pt E/W @ 9/2 (William Hill - 4 places)


3:00 - Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle (Grade 2) 

This looks to be a high-class renewal of the Grade 2 contest and it sees last year’s winner of the race return to action but now with a bit to prove.


Paisley Park was one of the stories of the 2018/19 season for Emma Lavelle as he burst onto the scene in the staying hurdling division, capping off an unbeaten five-race campaign with success in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. He got the better of the Jedd O’Keeffe-trained Sam Spinner by two and three-quarter lengths in the championship event and the manner of his victories throughout the season suggested that he could go on to dominate the division over the next couple of years. Given a break after his Festival success, things went to plan in Paisley Park’s first two runs of the 2019/20 season as he won last year’s renewal of the Long Distance Hurdle before following-up in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham. Those two wins saw him sent off as the odds-on favourite to defend his Stayers’ Hurdle Crown, but the eight-year-old finished seventh in the Grade 1 after suffering from an irregular heartbeat. It can be that the issue is a one-off though and connections have been positive ahead of his comeback this week. If Paisley Park can return at Newbury somewhere near his best form then he will be difficult to beat in the Long Distance Hurdle, but it remains to be seen how his last run has affected him.


Taking on Paisley Park at Newbury are two of the new kids on the block in the staying hurdling division, who will be looking to see if they are up to competing at the Cheltenham Festival come March. McFabulous took a bit of time to find his form last season for Paul Nicholls but ended the campaign with impressive wins as he was upped in trip. He got off the mark over hurdles at the third attempt when winning a Market Rasen novice in February and has not looked back since, travelling strongly when landing a Grade 3 novice at Kempton the following month over two miles and five furlongs. For his seasonal reappearance, McFabulous was kept to novice company for the Grade 2 Persian War at Chepstow and again travelled easily through the race before having too much for the rest of his rivals. The six-year-old has now earned a step up to the highest level and has to be respected on his first try at three miles, but on ratings he does have a lot to find with Paisley Park.

Also in the line-up is the Philip Hobbs-trained Thyme Hill who was unbeaten in three novice hurdles last season, including Newbury’s Grade 1 Challow Hurdle, ahead of the Cheltenham Festival. He then ran a fine race when finishing an unlucky fourth in the Albert Bartlett so connections have decided to stay over hurdles for the current campaign. However, the trainer’s horses have seemed to be needing their first run back this season and it looks a strong race to be starting off in.


There are actually two winners of the Stayers’ Hurdle in Friday’s race and LISNAGAR OSCAR might be underestimated yet again here after his shock success at Cheltenham in March. Sent off at 50/1 for the 2020 edition of the Stayers’ Hurdle, he defied his odds to run out a two-length winner (Tom George’s Summerville Boy back in fifth) with connections saying afterwards that they were surprised to see him return at such a big price. Looking back, he had showed promise when third in the Cleeve Hurdle on his previous run and as a novice he had finished fifth in the Albert Bartlett and third in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree. With some uncertainty about Paisley Park and the pair of McFabulous and Thyme Hill stepping out of novice company, LISNAGAR OSCAR could build on his solid comeback run at Wetherby last month and go well at decent odds in the Long Distance Hurdle.

advice:

LISNAGAR OSCAR 1pt E/W @ 16/1 (BetVictor)

 

 

3:35 – The Play Ladbrokes 1-2-Free On Football Handicap Hurdle.


Current favourite for the closing race of day one is Hill Sixteen who won by an impressive forty-six lengths on his stable debut for Nigel Twiston-Davies nine days ago. The seven-year-old was well-backed for his first run since January and he duly landed the odds with a comfortable victory. That performance came in a Ffos Las handicap chase over two miles and three and a half furlongs on heavy ground, so he will be facing a much different test at Newbury on Saturday as he bids to make it back-to-back wins since moving from the Sue Smith yard. Hill Sixteen gets to race off a mark of 123 now switched to hurdles so is 10lb well-in on the ratings, but he is up in trip and class while conditions will be much quicker than they were at Ffos Las. He is a previous winner over hurdles though and was runner-up on his penultimate start over two miles and seven and a half furlongs, but he has not raced over hurdles since March 2019 so has a little bit to prove despite being well-handicapped.


Another who has a wide-margin win to their name this season is Neville’s Cross, who made it two from two since being sent handicapping with a twenty-length success at Hereford last month. Trained by Tom Lacey, the five-year-old has enjoyed the step-up in distance this season with wins at Uttoxeter and then Hereford before going up in grade at Cheltenham at the end of October. Raised 12lb for his Hereford victory, he was sent off as favourite for Cheltenham’s Pertemps Hurdle Series Qualifier but could get never really get involved when finishing sixth (the Tom George-trained Ballon Onabudget further back in eighth). It is too soon to be writing off Neville’s Cross as he is still lightly raced and unexposed over three miles, but he will need to resume his improvement on friday to defy his current mark of 130.


One who is proven in this grade and should not have any problems with the conditions at Newbury is DELL’ ARCA, who won a Class 2 over friday’s course and distance on good ground at the beginning of the month. He may now be eleven years old but has rolled back the years this season for David Pipe as he previously won at Aintree before following-up in good style last time out. DELL’ ARCA was rated as high as 150 in the past so his current mark of 131 may not be beyond him and he has been developing a good partnership with conditional jockey Fergus Gillard. For DELL’ ARCA’s two wins this season Gillard has been in the saddle and he is good value for his 5lb claim, even if he was able to take off 7lb the last time at Newbury. With Gillard’s claim, DELL’ ARCA only has to carry 10st 7lb on friday and he can continue his resurgence this season and make a bold bid for his hat-trick.


Alan King saddles two in the race and they both could have more to offer over three miles. Loverboy is lightly raced having only had the nine career starts to date as a nine-year-old. He ran twice for Dan Skelton back in 2017 but then was not seen again on the track until January this year when he defied his long absence to make a winning start for Alan King at Chepstow. He subsequently did not race until last month where he ran creditably to finish sixth at Wetherby trying three miles for the first time. Loverboy could be able to build on that effort at Newbury carrying bottom weight in the contest, so is an interesting contender even though he is up in class. Stablemate Coeur De Lion is actually having his first try at the trip having raced more times on the Flat during his career. The seven-year-old is rated 94 on the level having won the Ascot Stakes at the royal meeting this summer, so he could be well-treated based on that form. However, so far he has not been as good in his eleven races over hurdles as he has shown on the Flat. 

advice:


DELL’ ARCA 1pt E/W @ 15/2 (Paddy Power, Betfair)

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11 hours ago, Wildgarden said:

320 southwell phantasmal 5/2 bet365 win

Out quick after today's nice win if this is right 

210 southwell perfect rose 13/2 win bet365 and fieldsman 9/1 Betfair sports book win

Perfect rose finding some form now down in trip and fieldsman could start better and in the mix at this weight.

 

Phantasmal owes you nothing after yesterday pal 👌

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All prices Bet365:

11.55 Doncaster - 1pt e/w Double W's @ 12/1

12.05 Southwell - 1pt e/w Princess Mayson @ 16/1

12.25 Doncaster - 1pt e/w Santon @ 33/1

12.45 Newbury - 1pt e/w Elusive Belle @ 8/1

1.25 Doncaster - 1pt e/w Royal Village @ 22/1

2.25 Newbury - 1pt e/w Cepage @ 8/1

3.35 Newbury - 1pt e/w Couer De Lion @ 8/1

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Nearly didn't bother with a Trixie today but finally found some possibilities at Doncaster

11.55 Don Yccs Portocervo 5/2
12.25 Don French Paradoxe £2 win at 4/1
2.35 Don Jean Genie £2 win at 11/4

One £1 win Trixie = £4 = Poss return of £104.81

Other win bets:

12.45 Nb No bet but the Sporting press seem to point to Anemoi saying that Eritage was just a lucky winner last time out.  I'll pass

2.25 Nb sully D'Or AA (what a complicated name) £1 win at 5/1
2.25 Nb San Benedeto £1 win at 8/1

3.00 Nb Paisley Park £2 win at 5.10 = £8.04 (hope he doesn't give me an irregular heart beat)

12.55 Don Ah Well £1 win at 8/1

1.25 Don Pogue £1 win at 4/1

2.00 Don Ballyfarsson 50p win at 66/1
2.00 Don Dieu Bennisse 50p win at 20/1

Multiples = £4

Singles = £11

Total stakes £15

Good luck to all those having  a bet today.  Newbury looks to be a very tricky proposition today

========================================================================================================

I had a bad feeling about today's racing and I was right.  I had two seconds but as I don't back each way got no returns.

Multiples = a loss of £4 c/fwd balance £615.94 (Bank £800).  Top rated Multiples - £4 so a c/fwd loss of £7.75

Singles, a whopping loss of £11 sinks my balance to £138.18 (£400 Bank)

Five meetings tomorrow in the UK. Four over the jumps and one All weather.  Some class action at Newcastle and Newbury so fingers crossed I can find some good selections

 

 

 

 

Edited by The Equaliser
Results Update
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Paisley ran well today which is great to see. Not quite grade A Paisley Park but close enough to show us he still has it. Thyme Hill is going to be a very tough horse to beat in the stayers hurdle though. Both will improve from that race.  The winner was getting 3Ibs from Paisley Park and also that was a few pounds below what Paisley Park is capable of. Not ruling anyone else out of the stayers hurdle but the first two today will take some beating providing they get there fit and well. Big race in Ireland this weekend which will tell us more regarding fancies for this race. 

Edited by Villa Chris
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20 hours ago, Wildgarden said:

320 southwell phantasmal 5/2 bet365 win

Out quick after today's nice win if this is right 

210 southwell perfect rose 13/2 win bet365 and fieldsman 9/1 Betfair sports book win

Perfect rose finding some form now down in trip and fieldsman could start better and in the mix at this weight.

 

Phantasmal couldn't follow up but fieldsman wins 9/1 taken / 11.5 BSP.

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58 minutes ago, Wildgarden said:

1915 Chelmsford Voi 13.5 Betfair exchange win and place 3.65

Down in grade looks like it's been not far off and could be up for the job at Chelmsford today on its 2nd outing at the course

3rd place for place win, raced well but just didn't have enough still today to win maybe one for lower trip next time.

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22 hours ago, Bathtime For Rupert said:

All prices Bet365:

11.55 Doncaster - 1pt e/w Double W's @ 12/1

12.05 Southwell - 1pt e/w Princess Mayson @ 16/1

12.25 Doncaster - 1pt e/w Santon @ 33/1

12.45 Newbury - 1pt e/w Elusive Belle @ 8/1

1.25 Doncaster - 1pt e/w Royal Village @ 22/1

2.25 Newbury - 1pt e/w Cepage @ 8/1

3.35 Newbury - 1pt e/w Couer De Lion @ 8/1

Solid enough after a poor day on Thursday. Santon so close, just going down in 2nd at 40/1 but lovely performance from Elusive Belle. Cepage a NR. 

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